HR Strategy

Zoom puts the kibosh on no-meeting Wednesdays, despite employee feedback

No-meeting days might be over for Zoom employees, but research shows fewer meetings benefit employee collaboration and satisfaction.
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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Remote work’s MVP, Zoom, has its employees feeling like they’re living a Katy Perry song: You’re hot then you’re cold, you’re yes then you’re no, you’re in then you’re out, you’re up then you’re down…

The videoconferencing platform recently rescinded two of its highly sought after pandemic-era policies, calling employees back to the office and nixing no-meeting Wednesdays. The latter policy was established in early 2021.

Zoom cited hindered collaboration as the No. 1 reason for squashing the no-meeting day, Bloomberg reported. But research shows that no-meeting days, and fewer meetings overall, mean more time for workers to actually do their jobs.

Fewer meetings are good for employees. Not only does a calendar stacked with meetings inhibit workers from completing tasks, even Zoom acknowledged just last year the benefits of fewer meetings for their internal teams.

An MIT Sloan Management Review “found that when companies introduced one no-meeting day per week,” they saw employees’ “autonomy, communication, engagement, and satisfaction improved,” the New York Times reported.

Rerack calendars for better collaboration. Zoom might be alone in retreating back to a pre-pandemic meeting load.

Shopify eliminated all recurring meetings with more than two employees and started discouraging Wednesday meetings earlier this year, Bloomberg reported, while Meta, Clorox, and Twilio have incorporated no-meeting days into their workweeks.

Graphic design platform Canva instituted a no-meeting Wednesday policy in 2020, and its global head of people, Jennie Rogerson, told CNBC Make It earlier this year that people shouldn’t necessarily hold fewer meetings, but rethink their purpose.

“Let’s be really intentional about our time,” she said.

Meeting across time (zones) and (geographic) space. Zoom wasn’t completely tweaking when it said fewer meetings can hamper collaboration. Keeping a no-meeting day in rotation may require companies to increase meetings on other days of the week, according to Rogerson, especially for companies with workers spread across multiple offices.

Meeting-free days shouldn’t “paint meetings as the enemy,” she told CNBC. “Meetings should be really high quality. Every meeting should have a goal.”

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